MONDAY 19 OCTOBER 2020 THISWEEKCULTURE.COM
OLLIE JONES: THE MERMAID'S TONGUE
Fans of immersive live entertainment may well have pricked up their ears last week when we recommended 'The Mermaid's Tongue', an interactive game played via digital means, the latest online offering from experience-making company Swamp Motel.

Having recommended it, I was interested to know more about it and to get to know the company behind it: I spoke to co-founder and creative director Ollie Jones (pictured left, alongside co-founder Clem Garrity).

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

'The Mermaid's Tongue' is on until 6 Nov. See this page here for more information and to book your tickets.



DOMINIC GARFIELD: LIL.MISS.LADY
When I heard about theatre collective HighRise Theatre's upcoming one night only digital event I was allured and intrigued - it's an online version of their show 'Lil.Miss.Lady', a genre busting experience bringing together theatre, grime and spoken word.

To find out more about the show and what to expect from HighRise coming up, I spoke to Dominic Garfield, writer and director of 'Lil.Miss.Lady', and artistic director of the company.

CLICK HERE to read this Caro Meets interview.

Lil.Miss.Lady goes out at 8.00pm on 23 Oct. Head to this page here for more information and to book.
As the COVID-19 shutdown continues, we are currently tipping the best in digital culture from across the UK - including online shows from many of our favourite performers and companies who we first discovered at the Edinburgh Festival.

PLUS we are also recommending some of the socially distanced shows in London that are still going ahead. Whether you are in London, Edinburgh or anywhere else for that matter, there'll be something for you!


THREE LIVE LONDON THINGS>>

How To Survive The Cherpocalypse | The Space | 23-24 Oct
We have got loads of online recommendations for you this week, and fewer real world ones. Partly because my inbox was so full of people telling me about the online stuff, but also because I am feeling nervous about cancellations given the ever changing COVID rules. I didn't, however, want to miss out on tipping this delightfully named performance, which is happening as a socially-distanced live event, but can also be viewed via a livestream. As you might expect, it's kinda focused on Cher. Read more about it here. Oh, and details for the livestream are here.

Flicker | COLAB Tavern | from 21 Oct
"A spirit haunts South London and it falls to you to solve the case and exorcise this lost soul. Murder, betrayal and jealousy await as you delve into one family's chaotic secrets. Partake in a seance, unravel the riddle and venture into the subterranean basement to face your fears". Another immersive and interactive (though presumably slightly distanced) adventure from specialists of the genre COLAB Theatre. For more info on the show and to book yourself in, head to the company website here.

Baby Lame's Video Nasties | Bethnal Green Working Men's Club | 21-22 Oct (pictured, image by Nik Pate)
This is probably an apt sort of show to see when Hallowe'en is looming: "Buckle up and join drag monstrosity Baby Lame on a brilliantly bonkers thrill ride through the weirdest, sleaziest and trashiest filth from the VHS era in her brand new solo show. Our final girl Baby has uncovered a secret stash of lost videotapes, but little does she know the evil curse lurking inside. Will Baby escape the sinister force, or will her soul be used to awaken an unspeakable evil?!" Book a table here.


THREE FUNNY ONLINE THINGS>>

Robin Ince & Laura Lexx | Your Place Comedy | 25 oct
Now for some online funny stuff for you and we start with another offering from Your Place Comedy. This virtual show is hosted by TW friend and Fringe legend Tim FitzHigham, and he's joined by a pair of acts that are also quite at home on our 'TW favourites' list. Firstly Robin Ince, who you no doubt know from things like 'The Infinite Monkey Cage' and all the Cosmic Shambles stuff, and secondly the very talented and award winning Laura Lexx, who you have probably seen on stuff like 'Live At The Apollo' and 'Hypothetical'. Read more about it here.

Kevin James Doyle: The 30 Year Old Virgin | via Amazon and Apple TV
"Growing up in a devoutly Christian home in Ohio, stand-up storyteller Kevin James Doyle was saving sex for marriage. After moving to New York City, he quickly fell in love and got engaged. A month before his wedding, he called it off and found himself in a precarious position, a 30 year old virgin". Edinburgh Fringe goers might have experienced the work of US comedian Kevin James Doyle at the Festival in 2017 and/or 2019. If you didn't, you might be pleased to hear that his 2017 debut is now available to rent or buy via Amazon and also via Apple TV. Link to Amazon here, link to Apple here.

Nobody Panic | Plosive Productions / Unmute Podcast Festival | 20 Oct (pictured)
The Unmute Podcast Festival is happening this week, turning lots of your favourite podcasts into visual as well as audio shows to be experienced live. I looked at the full line up and picked 'Nobody Panic' from rather good comedians Stevie Martin and Tessa Coates, who "tackle life's big, small, fun and sometimes scary questions because we're all in this together, guys". For this one they are joined by the ubiquitous Ed Gamble. Check out the listing here, and see what else is happening, podfest-wise, here.


THREE THEATRICAL ONLINE THINGS>>

Madman William | The Music Firm
And now for some theatrical stuff, starting with something which would have been performed at the 2020 Edinburgh Festival Fringe had COVID not struck, and which was instead filmed for the much-covered-by-us virtual Fringe of 2020. 'Madman William' is a comedy about Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear, who are sick of dying at every performance, and get together to hatch an escape plan. Which sounds like a really interesting notion, doesn't it? It's available on YouTube right now and will remain so until the end of the year. Head this way to watch it.

The Dirty 30 II: Electric Pay-Per-View | Degenerate Fox
"'The Dirty 30 II: Electric Pay-Per-View' is a valiant attempt to perform 30 plays in one hour using some digital magic. The 30 plays are an excellent mash-up of audience favourites and WORLD PREMIERES! However, just like the stage show, the order in which these plays are performed is entirely up to you - the audience. No two shows are the same". We've tipped this before, but I am tipping it again because they have added new dates and I am sure our readers will be excited to hear it. Book here.

The University Of Wonder & Imagination | Belfast International Arts Festival | 22-25 Oct + 29 Oct-1 Nov (pictured)
You'll remember that the Belfast International Arts Festival is currently ongoing, with many digital events this year, because we talked about it when we interviewed Nicky Harley a couple of weeks back about her role in one of its programme highlights, Big Telly's 'Macbeth'. Well, here's another programme highlight, an immersive digital show for children and their families. "You're bound to leave this hallowed centre of magical learning with your mind boggled and your brain bamboozled, but do you have what it takes to graduate from the University Of Wonder & Imagination?" Find out here.


THREE WORDY ONLINE THINGS>>

Olivette Otele: African Europeans | Festival Of Ideas / Bristol Old Vic | 21 Oct
Part of Festival Of Ideas' Black History Month programme of events and conversations, this online event is co-produced by Bristol Old Vic and operates on a 'pay what you can' basis. It sounds fascinating: "Professor Olivette Otele traces a long African European heritage through the lives of individuals both ordinary and extraordinary. She uncovers a forgotten past, from Emperor Septimius Severus, to enslaved Africans living in Europe during the Renaissance, and all the way to present-day migrants moving to Europe's cities". Read more here.

Tales From The Tombstone Tavern | from 21 Oct (pictured, image by Charlotte Sketching)
Fans of Hallowe'en might be feeling a bit bereft, coming up, what with the unlikelihood of parties and trick or treating and suchlike. Well, here's something that might perk you up - a series of audio plays dealing with some traditionally scary themes. "The Tombstone Tavern is the local haunt of horror legends Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, The Wailing Woman, Wolf Man and The Mummy. Under cover of darkness they get in the drinks and try to give one another chills with their own takes on Lovecraft, B movies, slashers, ghost stories and the occult". A new instalment will be released every two days from 21 Oct through to 31 Oct. Read about the series here.

Elephant in the Room | Lanre Malaolu | 23-29 October
I put this in the wordy section because it's a genre-crossing piece that involves spoken word, but - to be honest - it's predominantly physical theatre and hip hop dance. It's a solo show that explores the mental health crisis and the notion of toxic masculinity, taking "a sharp sideways look at the insidious stigma around mental health issues, asking how race, class and culture can affect the way we choose to address them. And what happens when we don't..." For more info and to watch from the 23 Oct, see this page here.
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